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I'm guessing that the purported "kill God" message is going to result in challenges aplenty.
Anybody read the book? Anybody got a bead on challenges? There are Christian groups organized to push boycotts of the movie (saw some over on facebook.com). Which is a sensible way to protest rather than trying to get the thing shut down entirely.
Like The DaVinci Code and Left Behind series, I'm not too interested in "Compass," but feel compelled to read just to know what the hooplah is about.
I'm reading it precisely so I can know what the hoopla is about, rather than knowing some other people's uninformed opinion.
It does seem that the author is athiest, and has declared that this is a decidedly non-christian fantasy, a sort of "anti-Narnia", if you will.
I'm about halfway through, and can say that thus far, he's got a group called "The Magisterium", which resembles the Catholic Church, or a large institutional organization, anyway. There's precious little about god or anything like that, more of a challenge to a seemingly sinister power structure.
The book itself is pretty standard fantasy fare, and as such doesn't directly appeal to me, but I'm soldiering on so that I'm informed.
The anti-religion messages are more obvious in books 2 and 3 than in the Golden Compass, and they are contained are as follows (SPOILERS!!!!):
-a malevolent religious institution that resembles the Catholic church allows priests to do pre-emptive penance so they are forgiven in advance for sins such as murder.
-"God" happens to be the first intelligent being that existed. He happened to tell all the ones who came after him that
he had created them, though he hadn't.
-A pair of angels who are probably gay.
-"Heaven" is a sucky, dirty place where everyone stands around doing nothing for all eternity while birds swoop down to peck at you.
I don't have a problem with reading about these ideas and enjoyed the books very much. They have been compared to an athiest Chronicles of Narnia (which are still among my most treasured childhood books in spite of the Christian message).
It's up to you whether this content offends your sensibilities, but keep in mind that others have a right to read/watch and enjoy it.
A side effect of "The DaVinci Code" was that it made made lots of money for Catholic apologists on the speaking circuit telling other Catholics what to think about it.
I've been surprised that the same thing hasn't happened with this book, especially since it's aimed at kids.
Thanks for the info about the book.
I was trying to make the distinction between having an opinion and sharing it with others (i.e., "Don't see 'The Golden Compass'; it's disrespectful, poorly written, heretical whatever) and forcing a book or movie out of the public eye through censorship.
It looked to me that some of the groups that don't like "The Golden Compass" are stopping short of censorship and simply trying to persuade others not to read/see the work.
Seems to me, and say this again as a practicing Catholic, that you get enough of the people running around purporting to speak for the Almighty long enough, and you'll start to wonder if it's all just a big load of crap.
And my personal belief is that if you can't handle criticisms of your beliefs existing in the world, then you are not a true believer anyway. A belief which can not be tested is no belief at all.